Main Category: Public Health
Also Included In: Health Insurance / Medical Insurance; Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 16 Nov 2011 – 11:00 PST
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Obama’s grand plans for universal healthcare slipped further into trouble today with a survey conducted by Gallup indicating that 47% percent of those questioned favor repealing the Affordable Care Act. Only 42% said the law should remain, with 11% not having a strong opinion about whether the government should mandate and effectively force people to have health insurance.
When divided into political categories, only 10% of republicans favored the law, against 43% of independents and 64% of democrats.
The survey comes at an inopportune time for Obama, whose healthcare bill is now being investigated by the supreme court to establish if it is constitutionally correct. It’s bound to become a dominant issue with the 2012 election now less than a year away, and it appears that the bill’s fate now rests more with The Supreme Court than it does with Congress.
Republicans have continued to attack the bill since it was passed in March 2010, promising to repeal it if they win the 2012 election, and Governors of republican states have taken matters into their own hands, challenging it on a state level. President Obama has been just as aggressive in defending the bill’s aims.
It seems that opinions haven’t changed much since the bill was passed, with 48% saying it was a bad thing back in 2010. A large part of the issue is simply allowing the Federal Government to encroach into people’s everyday lives in such a major way. The constitution, in theory, gives the Federal Government very little actual power and vests most of the decisions with the individual states. Some argue that even Federal income taxes are unconstitutional, thus telling people they must have health insurance was bound to draw the ire of more conservative and libertarian leaning citizens.
As a nation, there is much disagreement over whether it’s the Federal Government’s job to ensure people have healthcare, with some arguing against the nanny state mentality that prevails more in Europe, and others seeing it as a compassionate need to take care of all members of society.
The jury is still out, but the swing of opinion is obvious in the historical Gallup charts. In 2007, 69% said the Federal Government should be responsible, while today only 50% still feel that to be the case. Meanwhile, the critics of Government mandated healthcare has increased from 28% in 2007 to 46% today. In addition, 56% of people asked now say they think that the healthcare system should largely be based on private programs.
The more vocal critics against Government Healthcare point to Canada, The UK and Europe, where although healthcare is government funded, there are countless cases of: funds gone astray, white elephant projects, hospitals with inadequate funding, patients unable to obtain vital care and a general malaise that tends to dominate sectors that are not privately run, with a genuine performance and profit incentive.
By way of comparison, the telecom industry in many nations lumbered along for decades as an inefficient Government monopoly with high end user costs, and yet within a short time of being privatized, in spite of its critics, saw dramatic decreases in consumer costs and a mushrooming of competition and products available.
Taken to its logical extension, the socialism of the eastern block produced terrible food shortages that literally vanished overnight, once farmers and shopkeepers were allowed to profit from moving their produce. Sometimes its hard to argue against free market forces.
Written by Rupert Shepherd
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That is not what all the American people are saying.
posted by Ellie on 16 Nov 2011 at 11:35 am
I am saying make everyone buy health insurance. That so I don’t have to pay their bills later on when they show up at the ER demanding care and unable to pay. Health care is NOT a telecom industry it is an industry unto itself, unlike the others. Making sure everyone has insurance is not the same thing as socialized medicine. Pointing to Canada or Europe when their health care systems have nothing like Obamacare makes no sense. Maybe other people are dumb enough to believe those lies, I am not.
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